More About the Author
Perhaps the very moment when Val decided to become an artist occurred during a maths lesson at school. Val had drawn a caricature of the teacher that made his friend, George, giggle. Impressed by Val's artistry, but unappreciative of the disruption to his lesson, the teacher banged both boys' heads together saying, "This young man will go far. But not, repeat, not during my lessons!"
Val was born in the city of Budapest, Hungary in 1921. Living with his parents in a big flat, overlooking the Houses of Parliament with a glimpse of the river Danube beyond. Val moved to England in 1939 to study art in London.
His work has been wide-ranging. Val's twenty-one year association with the Radio Times, where his art appeared on a regular basis, was where he established his name as an illustrator.
Val has created approximately 3,000 book covers during his career, including covers for C.S. Forester's "Hornblower" novels, and other greats such as Evelyn Waugh and Noel Coward, and has illustrated around 80 books for numerous British publishers.
In the 1960s Val created his own children's books. Taking inspiration from his own love of vintage cars (Val can be seen sat on the running board of the real Gumdrop, in the photo above), his Austin in particular, the Gumdrop series was born. Written and illustrated in Val's well-recognised, style and humour, it centres on Gumdrop, the vintage Austin motor car. Val has written and illustrated 37 Gumdrop titles in as many years. The series grew in popularity with many foreign editions sold worldwide, and even a cartoon series was made!
Val continues to illustrate children's books, currently working alongside Award Publications with a number of their titles - most notably the series of Treasuries including Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales, Charles Perrault's Mother Goose Fairy Tales, Aesop's Fables and Grimm's Fairy Tales.
After celebrating his 90th birthday in 2011, Val is still working hard and is currently writing and illustrating a brand new addition to the Treasuries, "Tales from the Arabian Nights"...look out for its release in 2013.
For more information visit Val's website: www.valbiro.co.uk